California residents buying in hawaiian islands

Getting a Mortgage in Hawaii

getting a mortgage in hawaii

Elizabeth Weintraub, before getting a mortgage in Hawaii, in our new back yard.

Getting a mortgage in Hawaii was dramatically different for me than obtaining a mortgage in California. As you may have guessed, what is precipitating this blog, we closed on our home in Hawaii on Friday. I don’t think the impact of that purchase has fully settled in yet, probably because I have a horrible cold after returning from our trip to Cuba and I’m thick in the middle of other real estate transactions for my clients that consume my time. But in retrospect, the biggest problems we encountered originated with our Hawaii mortgage lender.

The difficulties were not due to our loan application, income or credit. We have no skeletons in our closet. The lender said our file was clean as whistle. It was the lender. Now, maybe it’s just the way things are done in Hawaii, but I can’t imagine that every lender in the islands is as lackadaisical and whacko as the office we unfortunately had selected. It is absolutely no reflection on the individual who referred us to that office, either, I want to make that perfectly clear. But getting a mortgage in Hawaii was difficult and the processing was very unusual from the way it is done in California.

For starters, the mortgage loan officer continually advised me at inception that regulations for TRID could mess up or delay our loan. I am a top Sacramento Realtor. I am very familiar with TRID. I’ve been closing escrows that involve TRID since last October and, for the most part, unless the mortgage lender messes up or forgets to abide by the guidelines, they close on time. Using TRID as an excuse is, well, inexcusable. Many of the questions I asked the mortgage loan officer could not be answered. I was informed that loan processors do all the heavy lifting and mortgage loan officers do not have the answers to technical or difficult questions.

I had asked the mortgage loan officer to lock my loan but when I receive my loan estimate 3 days later, I discovered my loan was not locked. Again I insisted, and by this time, well, it was December 16th, the date the Feds raised the rates. So, the lender had to eat the difference. I had asked several other questions via email and received no response, so later that evening I inquired again, asking why I had not received a response to my earlier emails. The mortgage loan officer, whom we suspect had been celebrating the holidays a bit too much, sent a late-night email with a bunch of misspellings and threatened to cancel our loan. Out of the blue.

By morning, they were apologetic. We had 30 days to close and, unfortunately, we did not close on time. We could have closed early, however, if the lender had submitted our file to underwriting on December 24th. Instead, the loan officer sat on our file until January 5th. Maybe they closed the office? I don’t know. I could not follow up because I was on vacation in Cuba with very spotty internet.

We were in and out of underwriting in 3 days, and then the lender emailed our Closing Disclosure to the wrong email address, so we did not receive it on time. I won’t bore you with all the intimate details of other things that went wrong with our mortgage in Hawaii. The bottom line is we had a super easy file to close. If you’re thinking about getting a mortgage in Hawaii, you might want to allow for delays and just go with the flow, in case our experience is normal. But I hope it was just an odd chance of ending up in the wrong hands.

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